Alf has had a diverse career including Bus Driver, Market Trader, Business Owner, Accountant and District Inspector of Taxes. He worked for many years at a senior level rescuing failed insurance syndicates for the Royal Insurance Group and Lloyds of London. He retired from paid employment as the Head of Finance and Resources at the Equal Opportunities Commission based in Manchester in 2008.
After six months of retirement, Alf found himself looking for something meaningful to do. Like Gill, it was an advertisement in a National newspaper that led him to his next big adventure. UnLtd, a charity that supports social enterprises, were looking for Business Mentor volunteers. It was this opportunity that brought Alf and STORM® together.
UnLtd Business Mentors support novice social entrepreneur award winners and their social businesses. They offer vital expertise and guidance to help them overcome the hurdles of start-up and challenges to becoming sustainable. Alf and Gill were paired as mentor and mentee in 2010 when STORM® was still the STORM® Project within the University of Manchester, and at the beginning stages of its journey to becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC).
At their first meeting Alf asked Gill, “How do you think I can help you?” Gill’s response was “Well… you could explain accounting to me.” That is where they started, and Alf soon became instrumental to Gill and Linda’s successful bid to the University to start-up STORM® as a social business.
When STORM® CIC was finally incorporated in 2011, Alf was invited by Gill and Linda to be a non-executive Director. With astute commercial acumen, Alf has been instrumental in negotiating complete independence from the University and helping secure a viable and successful social business.
Like many of us, Alf has been affected by the tragic loss of someone who took their own life. Alf gains a lot of satisfaction from knowing that his supporting role within STORM® is contributing to the valuable work we are doing in raising awareness and providing skills training. He’s made a difference to businesses. He is now helping us to make a difference in the community.